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#28821 - 05/14/01 07:15 AM ... English from the Dutch: origin unknown  
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belligerentyouth Offline
old hand
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Berlin
Well so much for that query - I'll just stick to 'separating the wheat from the chaff'

skipping school:
In North England it's to skive (off)
In Australia you'd most likely wag school or perhaps bunk off.
In the U.S. children like to cut class or just plain goof off.


#28822 - 05/14/01 07:25 AM Re: Separate the English from the Dutch  
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Capital Kiwi Offline
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Northamptonshire, England
BY, this Michiganian is unfamiliar with separating the Dutch from the English. Around here, both separating the men from the boys and the wheat from the chaff are used.

We also use "sorting out the sheep from the goats". Is that common anywhere else?



The idiot also known as Capfka ...
#28823 - 05/14/01 11:16 AM Re: Separate the English from the Dutch  
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Jackie Offline
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Louisville, Kentucky

We also use "sorting out the sheep from the goats". Is that common anywhere else?


Yes, Sweet Thing, my mother used it all the time. She also used "separate the men from the boys".




#28824 - 05/14/01 07:27 PM Re: Separate the English from the Dutch  
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AnnaStrophic Offline
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lower upstate New York
Sparteye refers to herself as this Michiganian ...

Another cherished belief dashed to the ground! I thought y'all called yourselves Michiganders? Or is that term only committed by the rest of us "Down Below"?


#28825 - 05/14/01 08:12 PM Re: Separate the English from the Dutch  
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Sparteye Offline
Pooh-Bah
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Pooh-Bah

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BY, this Michiganian is unfamiliar with separating the Dutch from the English. Around here, both separating the men from the boys and the wheat from the chaff are used.

We also use "sorting out the sheep from the goats". Is that common anywhere else?

I'm not familiar with the sheep and goats thing, but how about separating a fool and his money?



#28826 - 05/14/01 08:14 PM Re: Michiganians/Michiganders  
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Sparteye Offline
Pooh-Bah
Sparteye  Offline
Pooh-Bah

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AnnaS:

The term "Michiganders" was coined by Ohioans as a pejorative term, apparently around the time that Michigan and Ohio had a border war. My memory of high school history class is hazy, but I recall that the single battle was fought in a farm field, resulting in casualties of a couple of geese and some cabbage heads. The dispute was settled, with Ohio getting the strip of land, including Toledo, and Michigan getting the entire upper peninsula. Despite the term "Michiganders," it seems it was the Ohioans who got plucked.

Natives of Michigan are now variously called Michiganians and Michiganders. Neither term bothers.


#28827 - 05/30/01 02:54 PM Re: Separate the English from the Dutch  
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rodward Offline
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rodward  Offline
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Portsmouth, United Kingdom
and yesterday I learnt the German for double-dutch (as in gibberish):
das Kauderwelsch
but I can't find any etymology. Can anyone help please?
Thanks,
Rod


#28828 - 05/31/01 02:55 AM Re: Separate the English from the Dutch  
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Bingley Offline
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Jakarta
The Austrian lady at work thinks Kauderwelsch is more German than Austrian. She thinks it comes from the noise cows (Kau) make when they're chewing the cud.

Bingley


Bingley
#28829 - 05/31/01 08:47 AM Re: Sheep men, Goat Boys and Skipping  
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RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah
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Pooh-Bah

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The question of separating English from Dutch has puzzled me a little - I also would like to know the underlying connotations of this one. Separating Wheat from chaff is, obviously, sorting out what is useful from what is useless: sorting sheep from goats is spearating mixed groups into like groups: separating men from boys is identifying those who are able from those who are not, in a particular field of endeavour.
But what is the criterion of separation in the English/Dutch analogy?

As to skipping school - that and all of the other ezxpressions, above, except goofing off are used in UK, with the addition of regional use of "to Mooch," e.g., "I'm mooching this afternoon." - in Wales it is "mych" (I think - mav?: but I think it is probably pronounced much the same) and in Ireland "mitch".


#28830 - 05/31/01 11:01 AM Re: Sheep men, Goat Boys and Skipping  
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maverick Offline
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the criterion of separation in the English/Dutch analogy

I believe you'll find it stems fro the time of fierce colonial and seafaring competition: 'dutch' is synonymous in many English phrases with the bad, the ugly, and the generally undesirable. Strange how we often hate what we are most like...

And yes, to mitch off school is the currency here, though from my Kent schooldays it was always skive. I'm not at all sure how mitch is spelled!

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